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MANILA, Philippines – Typhoon Betty (Mawar) further weakened as it lingered over the sea east of Batanes, but it is still enhancing the southwest monsoon or habagat.
Due to the enhanced southwest monsoon, heavy rainfall warnings remained in effect for most of the Western Visayas region early Wednesday, May 31, particularly the provinces of Antique, Iloilo, Guimaras, Aklan, and Negros Occidental.
In the Mimaropa region, the entire Occidental Mindoro and parts of Palawan were also under heavy rainfall warnings.
Other parts of Southern Luzon, the Visayas, and Mindanao may have rain showers or thunderstorms due to the southwest monsoon on Wednesday.
As of 4 am on Wednesday, Betty was 320 kilometers east of Itbayat, Batanes, slowly moving north northwest. There has been little change in its location due to its slow pace.
Its maximum sustained winds further decreased from 130 kilometers per hour to 120 km/h, while its gustiness went down from 160 km/h to 150 km/h.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said in its 5 am bulletin that Betty may weaken into a severe tropical storm on Wednesday evening or Thursday morning, June 1, and into a tropical storm on Friday evening, June 2, or Saturday morning, June 3.
There is also a chance of Betty weakening at a faster rate due to the effect of dry air on the typhoon, added PAGASA.
In the meantime, however, Betty may still trigger heavy rain on Wednesday, particularly in Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union, Abra, and Benguet. Floods and landslides remain possible.
Given Betty’s slow movement, the same areas remained under tropical cyclone wind signals as of 5 am on Wednesday.
Signal No. 2
Gale-force winds (62 to 88 km/h), minor to moderate threat to life and property
Signal No. 1
Strong winds (39 to 61 km/h), minimal to minor threat to life and property
- Cagayan including Babuyan Islands
- northern and eastern parts of Isabela (Santo Tomas, Santa Maria, Quezon, San Mariano, Dinapigue, Delfin Albano, San Pablo, Ilagan City, Benito Soliven, Tumauini, Cabagan, Palanan, Quirino, Divilacan, Gamu, Maconacon, Naguilian, Mallig)
- eastern part of Ilocos Norte (Piddig, Bangui, Vintar, Marcos, Pagudpud, Banna, Adams, Carasi, Dingras, Solsona, Dumalneg, Nueva Era)
- northern part of Kalinga (Tabuk City, Balbalan, Pinukpuk, Rizal)
- northeastern part of Abra (Tineg, Lacub, Malibcong)
PAGASA added that the enhanced southwest monsoon will bring occasional to frequent gusts to Western Visayas, Bicol, Aurora, Quezon, the northern part of mainland Palawan including Calamian and Cuyo islands, Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, and Romblon, as well as the remaining areas of the Ilocos Region and the Cordillera Administrative Region that are not under wind signals.
The weather bureau also issued a new gale warning at 5 am on Wednesday, maintaining its outlook for coastal waters affected by Betty and the southwest monsoon:
- seaboards of Northern Luzon and eastern seaboard of Central Luzon – rough to high seas, with waves 3.1 to 6.5 meters high
- seaboards of Southern Luzon and eastern seaboard of Visayas – rough to very rough seas, with waves 2.8 to 4.5 meters high
PAGASA warned that rough to high seas are risky for all vessels. In areas with rough to very rough seas, small vessels should not sail while larger vessels must be on alert for big waves.
Betty is expected to gradually accelerate from Wednesday to Thursday morning while generally heading north. But PAGASA said there may be “some wobbling in its movement,” such as “sudden turns” to the north northeast or north northwest, in the near term or in the next 12 hours.
The typhoon could shift more toward the northeast starting Thursday afternoon or evening.
It could leave the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) on Thursday evening or early Friday morning.
Outside PAR, it may pass very close to or make landfall in the vicinity of Japan’s central Ryukyu Islands, possibly in Okinawa Island, by mid-Friday, according to PAGASA.
Also outside PAR, Betty may start transitioning into a post-tropical cyclone on Saturday or Sunday, June 4.
Betty entered PAR as a super typhoon early Saturday, May 27, and before its entry, had reached a peak intensity of 215 km/h. It is the country’s second tropical cyclone for 2023 and the first super typhoon of the year. – Rappler.com